Summer salad with freekeh
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I was a vegetarian for over 30 years and so was always looking for new ideas with interesting grains. This recipe combines a number of my favourite ingredients – peas, pomegranate and red onion – and is the epitome of the taste of summer.
Preparation: 15-20 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour
● 3 red onions, finely sliced
● 30g caster sugar
● Sea salt and black pepper
● 125ml balsamic vinegar, plus extra for drizzling
● 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
● 400g packet of freekeh
● 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
● 160g peas
● ½ bunch coriander roughly chopped
● 200g feta cheese, crumbled
● Preheat the oven to 180°C.
● Place the onion on a baking tray and sprinkle with the sugar, salt and pepper.
● Pour over the balsamic vinegar and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes, then toss and continue roasting until caramelised and golden, about 1 hour.
● While the onion is cooking, rinse the freekeh. Place in a saucepan and cover generously with water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, then simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until the freekeh is tender but still firm.
● Rinse and drain thoroughly. Place in a salad bowl.
● Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes, and then refresh immediately in cold water. Drain and cut into 2cm pieces.
● Cook the peas in boiling salted water for 1 minute, then refresh.
● Toss the caramelised onion with the cooking juices through the freekeh.
● Add the asparagus, peas, coriander and feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper and, if necessary, extra olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from Monday Morning Cooking Club: the feast goes on, Harper Collins